April 20th, 2006

poetrythursday

POETRY THURSDAY

I love Marge Piercy with a huge, fierce love. If you've never read her, you're missing out. The poem below is a long-time favorite that gives me shivers every time I read it, because the imagery is so powerful. It makes me remember what it is to fall in love, and how it is in the beginning; the huge heat that is generated. Can you see the speaker? Glowing as she walks? When I read it, I feel warmer. I put my hands out and hold them close to the flames.

I Am A Light You Could Read By
by Marge Piercy


A flame from each finger,
my hands are candleabra,
my hair stands in a torch.
Out of my mouth a long flame hovers.
Can't anyone see, handing me a newspaper?
Can't anyone see, stamping my book overdue?
I walk blazing along Sixth Avenue,
burning gas blue I buy subway tokens,
a bouquet of coals, I cross the bridge.
Invisible I singe strangers and pass.
Now I am on your street.
How your window flickers.
I come bringing my burning body
like an armful of tigerlilies,
like a votive lantern,
like a roomful of tassels and leopards and grapes
for you to come into
dance in my burning
and we will flare up together like stars
and fall to sleep.


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